Winter Squash & Carrot Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 – 2 1/2 lbs butternut squash, cubed (frozen works very well for this recipe)
  • 2 lbs baby carrots
  • 1 32oz can of pure pureed pumpkin
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1/2 onion
  • 2 T butter
  • 3 32oz boxes of chicken broth
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Instructions

  1. Melt butter in the bottom of a large soup pot
  2. Sauté onions over medium heat, stirring frequently, until caramelized
  3. Add carrots, butternut squash and thyme to pot
  4. Add enough chicken stock to cover vegetables
  5. Cover and simmer until vegetables are soft
  6. Puree vegetables using an immersion blender until a smooth consistency is achieved
  7. Add in pureed pumpkin and coconut milk
  8. Continue to blend until all ingredients are well mixed
  9. Add salt and pepper to taste
  10. Serve hot

This soup is an absolute gem when it comes to packing a nutritional punch.  Rich in Vitamins A & C it is the perfect alternative to mom’s chicken soup when a cold or the flu comes knocking.  Here’s a complete run down of the good stuff.

Cup for cup here is what our orange vegetables have to offer:

  • Butternut squash – 300 percent of your daily value of vitamin A, 50 percent of vitamin C, 7 percent of calcium and 5 percent of iron.
  • Pumpkin – 760 percent of the daily value of vitamin A, 17 percent of vitamin C, 6 percent of calcium and 19 percent of iron.
  • Carrots – 380 percent of the daily value of vitamin A, 8 percent of vitamin C, 4 percent of calcium and 8 percent of iron.

The Vitamins

Vitamin A – Beta carotene imparts the orange-yellow color of butternut squash, pumpkin, carrots and other similarly colored vegetables. In the body, beta carotene is converted to vitamin A, which supports your immune system and helps maintain eye health. It is a fat-soluble vitamin essential to maintaining healthy mucous membranes and other soft tissues, as well as promoting healthy skin.  Vitamin A is also considered an antioxidant. Antioxidants help reduce free radical damage, thus helping to prevent cell damage that may cause chronic diseases and contribute to aging.

Vitamin C – Butternut squash, pumpkin and carrots are excellent sources of vitamin C, a water soluble vitamin, which plays an important role in tissue growth and repair as well as gum health.  In fact, the growth and repair of tissues, including wound healing, depends on vitamin C.  Cartilage, scar tissue, ligaments, blood vessels, gums and teeth all require vitamin C for development.  An additional function of vitamin C is increasing the body’s absorption of iron.

The Minerals

Calcium – Everyone knows that calcium plays an important role in bone health and can help reduce the risk of osteoporosis. But few are aware that the most bioavailable sources of calcium come from plant sources.  In addition to aiding bone health, calcium is involved in blood clotting, cellular signaling and muscle contraction – this includes the contraction of the heart muscle.

Iron  – Iron is a mineral that is present in every cell in the body.  It is necessary for the development of red blood cells and aids in transportation of oxygen to tissues. Thought your best source of iron cam from red meat?  Think again…the iron from vegetables, especially when combined with Vitamin C, is more readily absorbed.

Potassium – All squashes, including our winter squashes are rich in the mineral potassium.  Potassium helps maintain healthy blood pressure, promotes normal body growth and protein synthesis for muscle development. Because of its involvement in regulating fluid balance and cellular electrical functions, it is considered an electrolyte and is absolutely necessary to maintain proper function on the cellular level.

Worried this soup wont be enough to satisfy?

All three of our orange veggies are loaded with fiber.  Not only will this leaving you feeling deliciously full but the fiber from fruits and vegetables can improve cholesterol levels and improve digestion.  This means more regularity and a whole lot less constipation and other digestive woes.

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